Rigidity and flexibility of biological networks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)


The network approach became a widely used tool to understand the behaviour of complex systems in the last decade. We start from a short description of structural rigidity theory. A detailed account on the combinatorial rigidity analysis of protein structures, as well as local flexibility measures of proteins and their applications in explaining allostery and thermostability is given. We also briefly discuss the network aspects of cytoskeletal tensegrity. Finally, we show the importance of the balance between functional flexibility and rigidity in protein-protein interaction, metabolic, gene regulatory and neuronal networks. Our summary raises the possibility that the concepts of flexibility and rigidity can be generalized to all networks.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberels023
Pages (from-to)443-456
Number of pages14
JournalBriefings in Functional Genomics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2012


  • Cellular networks
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Functional flexibility
  • Protein structure
  • Structural/combinatorial rigidity
  • Thermostability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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